Location of Tiraspol in Transnistria
|Country (de jure)||Moldova|
|Country (de facto)||Transnistria|
|• Head of the State Administration of Tiraspol||Oleg Dovgopol|
|• Total||55.56 km2 (21.45 sq mi)|
|Elevation||26 m (85 ft)|
|Area code(s)||+ 373 533|
Tiraspol (Romanian: Tiraspol, Moldovan Cyrillic alphabet: Тираспол; Russian: Тира́споль Russian pronunciation: [tʲɪˈraspəlʲ]; Ukrainian: Тирасполь Romanian pronunciation: [tɪˈrɑspol]) is the capital of Transnistria (de facto), a breakaway state in Moldova (de jure), where it is the third largest city. The city is located on the eastern bank of the Dniester River. Tiraspol is a regional hub of light industry, such as furniture and electrical goods production.
The modern city of Tiraspol was founded by the Russian generalissimo Alexander Suvorov in 1792, although the area had been inhabited for thousands of years by varying ethnic groups. The city celebrates its anniversary every year on 14 October.
The toponym consists of two ancient Greek words: Τύρας, Tyras, the Ancient name for the Dniester River, and polis, i.e., a city (state).
Tyras (Τύρας), also spelled Tiras, was a colony of the Greek city Miletus, probably founded about 600 BC, situated some 10 kilometres (6 miles) from the mouth of the Tiras River (Dniester). Of no great importance in early times, in the 2nd century BC it fell under the dominion of indigenous kings whose names appear on its coins. It was destroyed by the Thracian Getae about 50 BC.
In 56 AD the Romans restored the city and made it part of the colonial province of Lower Moesia. A series of its coins exist that feature heads of Roman emperors from Domitian to Severus Alexander. Soon after the time of the latter, the city was destroyed again, this time by the invasion of the Goths. Its government was in the hands of five archons, a senate, a popular assembly and a registrar. The images on its coins from this period suggest a trade in wheat, wine and fish. The few inscriptions extant are mostly concerned with trade.
Such ancient archeological remains are scanty, as the city site was built over by the great medieval fortress of Monocastro or Akkerman. During the Middle Ages, the area around Tiraspol was a buffer zone between the Tatars and the Moldavians, and inhabited by both ethnic groups.
The Russian Empire conquered its way to the Dniester River, taking territory from the Ottoman Empire. In 1792 the Russian army built fortifications to guard the western border near a Moldavian village named Sucleia. Field Marshal Alexander Suvorov is considered[by whom?] the founder of modern Tiraspol; his statue is the city's most distinctive landmark. The city took its name from Tyras, the Greek name of the Dniester River on which it stands.
In 1828 the Russian government established a customs house in Tiraspol to try to suppress smuggling. The customs house was subordinated to the chief of the Odessa customs region. It began operations with 14 employees. They inspected shipments of bread, paper, oil, wine, sugar, fruits and other goods.
After the Russian Revolution, the Moldavian Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic was created in Ukraine in 1924, with Balta as its capital. The republic had Romanian, Ukrainian and Russian as its official languages. Its capital was moved in 1929 to Tiraspol, which remained the capital of the Moldavian ASSR until 1940.
In 1940, following the secret provisions of the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact, the USSR forced Romania to cede Bessarabia. It integrated Tiraspol, until then part of the Ukrainian SSR, into the newly formed Moldavian SSR. On 7 August 1941, following the Axis invasion of the Soviet Union, the city was taken over by Romanian troops. Later that month, on 19 August, the Tiraspol Agreement establishing the Transnistria Governorate was signed. During the occupation, Tiraspol was under Romanian administration. During that period almost all of its Jewish population died: they were slain in situ or deported to German Nazi death camps, where they were murdered.
In 1941 before the occupation, the newspaper Dnestrovskaya Pravda was founded by the Tiraspol City Council of popular deputies. This is the oldest periodical publication in the region. On 12 April 1944, the city was retaken by the Red Army and became again part of Moldavian SSR.
On 27 January 1990, the citizens in Tiraspol passed a referendum declaring the city as an independent territory. The nearby city of Bendery also declared its independence from Moldova. As the Russian-speaking independence movement gained momentum, some local governments banded together to resist pressure from the Moldovan government for nationalization.
On 2 September 1990, Tiraspol was proclaimed the capital of the new Pridnestrovian Moldavian Soviet Socialist Republic. The new republic was not officially recognized by Soviet authorities; however, it received support from some important Soviet leaders, such as Anatoly Lukyanov. After the dissolution of the Soviet Union, the territory east of the Dniester River declared independence as the Pridnestrovian Moldavian Republic (PMR), with Tiraspol as its capital. It was not recognized by the international community.
On 1 July 2005, the Lucian Blaga Lyceum, a high school with Romanian as its language of instruction, was registered as a Transnistrian non-governmental establishment. The registration of six Romanian language schools has been the subject of negotiations with the government since 2000. The tension increased in the summer of 2004, when the Transnistrian authorities forcibly closed the schools that taught using the Latin script. According to the official PMR view, this is considered as Romanian. "Moldovan", written in the Cyrillic script, is one of the three official languages in the PMR; Romanian is not. Some economic measures and counter-measures were taken on both banks of the Dniester.
Tensions have been seen in terrorist incidents. On 6 July 2006, an explosion, believed to be caused by a bomb, killed at least eight people in a minibus. Later on 13 August, a grenade exploded in a trolleybus, killing two and injuring ten. The 2022 Tiraspol bombing happened on the 25 April 2022 during the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine when several explosions were reported near the Ministry of State Security (Transnistria) in Tiraspol. Firefighters were on the scene but there were no casualties.
Tiraspol features a humid continental climate that closely borders an oceanic climate and has transitional features of the humid subtropical climate due to its warm summers. Summers are mild, with average monthly temperatures at around 21 °C (70 °F) in July and August. Winters are cold, with average temperatures in the coldest month (January) at −2.7 °C (27 °F). Precipitation is relatively evenly spread throughout the year, though there is a noticeable increase in monthly precipitation in June and July. Tiraspol on average sees nearly 500 mm (20 in) of precipitation per year.
|Climate data for Tiraspol|
|Average high °C (°F)||0.7
|Average low °C (°F)||−6.1
|Average precipitation mm (inches)||33
|Average precipitation days||11||11||9||10||11||11||10||7||7||7||11||11||116|
|Source: World Weather Information Service|
The population of the city was about 190,000 in 1989 and about 203,000 in 1992. 41% were Russians, 32% Ukrainians (both Eastern Slavic) and 18% were Moldovans (Romanians).
As result of the political and economic situation that followed the proclamation of the independent (unrecognized) Transnistria, as well as large Jewish emigration in the early 1990s, the population of the city fell below its 1989 number and the 2004 Transnistrian census put its population at 158,069.
The Latin Catholic minority was served by its own Roman Catholic Diocese of Tiraspol (originally called Cherson), which at times also covered part of neighbouring Romania and Russia, until its 2002 suppression and merger into the Russian Diocese of Saint Clement at Saratov.
The statue of Alexander Suvorov was erected in the central square in 1979 in commemoration of his 250th anniversary. In front of the Transnistrian Government building there is a statue of Vladimir Lenin. On the opposite side of the central square, a monument plaza features a Soviet T-34 tank, commemorating the Soviet victory in World War II, an eternal flame to those who fell defending the city in 1941 and liberating it in 1944, as well as several monuments dedicated to more recent conflicts, including the Soviet–Afghan War and the War of Transnistria.
The two main football clubs are Sheriff Tiraspol and FC Tiraspol. Sheriff is the most successful Moldovan football club of recent history, winning 14 league titles since the 2000–2001 season, and 6 Moldovan Cups. Noted for their last-minute 2–1 Champions League victory against Real Madrid on 28 September 2021. A third club, CS Tiligul-Tiras Tiraspol, withdrew from competition prior to the 2009–2010 season. Tiraspol is home to the Sheriff Stadium, the largest capacity stadium in the region, with a capacity of 14,300 seats.